I love to cook, and though I have been trying to eat pretty healthy, I wanted to try this dish out. I love Asian food, and being a halfsie I grew up eating all sorts of Korean/American fusion food. So of course I love trying/cooking/eating all the Asian things.
Okonomiyaki is a dish that I saw online recently, and was very excited to try making it at home. I had never heard of or seen this Japanese cabbage crepe. But it looked enticing. There are two styles of Okonomiyaki. The Hiroshima style is this layered version that I made versus the Osaka version that mixes all the ingredients into the batter. Personally I think the presentation of the Hiroshima style is much prettier. But I never fully follow recipes, so this is my adapted version with substitutes.
Yields 3 pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/3 cup of water
2 teaspoons Sherry w/ a dash of sugar (mirin substitute)
Yakisoba noodles (I used dried instant noodles)
1/3 small white cabbage thinly chopped
3 oz of thinly sliced asparagus (can substitute any veggies, the original recipe called for bean sprouts)
2 scallions thinly chopped
4 ozs thinly sliced steak
Okonomiyaki sauce (can buy premade)
3 tablespoons of ketchup
1 tablespoon soysauce
1 tablespoon of wocestishire sauce
1 teaspoon honey
Bonito flakes (I didn't have this item)
So, this is a pretty easy recipe to make. It takes the most time to assemble the ingredients however. Make sure all your ingredients are prepped before you start cooking.
First, make the batter. Just whisk all ingredients until smooth and consistent. Next slice up your veggies and meat. Finely chop your cabbage and whatever other veggies you want to add so they cook quickly. Thinly slice your steak. The traditional recipe uses pork belly (or bacon) so that's always an option as well.
Boil some water and place your instant noodles or Yakisoba noodles fully submerged. Stir once and wait about two minutes or until the noodles are soft and drain the water.
If you don't have Okonomiyaki sauce go ahead and make it now. It's kind of a sweeter but tart soy sauce. Just combine all ingredients until smooth. Since I don't have any squirt top bottles at home, I just place the sauce in a baggy. When you are ready to use you can cut a very small hole in the corner. At this time you can also place the mayo in a small baggy.
I didn't have any premade nori flakes, but I did have some whole dried roasted seaweed sheets. I took the seaweed out and shook the crumbs into a dish (ghetto as hell, but you do whatcha gotta do sometimes :D)
Once you have all the ingredients prepped, it's time to start cooking. Since I don't have a large flat griddle I used two frying pans to cook.
Heat each pan with a small amount of oil to about medium heat. Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter into one pan using the ladle to widen the batter like you would with a crepe. Add a generous 1/3 of sliced cabbages and veggies. Sprinkle some scallions, and place your raw meat on top. Ladle about half the amount of batter as you did for the base on top.
In the other pan place 1/3 of the noodles and squirt some of the Okonomiyaki sauce you on and stir. Spread noodles out to be roughly the size of your pancake in the other pan.
Now go ahead and use two spatulas to flip the the pancake on the other side to cook the veggies and meat and extra batter. Let this sit for about 1-2 minutes. Use your two spatulas to transfer the pancake to sit on top of the noodles.
In your now empty pan, spread a little more oil, crack and egg, and spread it to be about the same size as your pancake. Cook for about 1 minute and the transfer the pancake, noodle side down on top of the egg. Flip once more and voila you are done! Now just top with some more Okonomiyaki sauce, a little mayo, and bonito flakes if you have them, and ready to dig in!
I found all the flipping and using the two spatulas to be a bit tricky for me, and I got better as the process went along (I was at my Mom’s house and when the first one stuck she had to come in for the rescue!) The first one turned into a tall oval. The second was a oblong circle. And the final was beautifully circular! It's all about practice guys.
And damn straight this was delicious.